Design and service design are moving up the agenda in business as tools that can open new ways to engage and win with customers. Design characteristics such as empathy, creativity and experimentation are of huge value. They are of even bigger value if they can be applied by teams within an organisation to bring in both the customer view and also tackle the internal challenges organisations face on a day-to-day basis.
Businesses need ‘customer blah’ to work for them
Customer centricity, focus or orientation? It is all ‘customer blah’ if it does not impact business performance. It is essential to validate the insights that come from understanding customers with the goals and capabilities of an organisation. Pure outside-in thinking will not cut it – we need to be able to understand business motivations too. It is when customer and business goals meet that there is a real opportunity.
Looking after the internal users and customers too
Achieving benefits for customers can require major change to the internal processes, systems and practices of an organisation. Changing the experience of a service setting like a shop or a metro station can impact complex employee, technology and logistical factors. Designing for these factors is fundamental to delivering for the end customer.
Bringing creativity to the blocks and hurdles
Creativity does not only belong to the world of customer experience and design. It is essential to effective engagement of an organisation in moving forward towards challenging goals. Customer insights, stories and scenarios can be used to unlock the creativity of internal teams to think more laterally and creatively about their challenges. Business design provides a creative space grounded in a pragmatic understanding of business reality.
Coming to the game loaded with insight
All customers are different but they also follow patterns that can be anticipated. Most customers, for example, have higher satisfaction if their first experience is positive. Businesses in different sectors also have their patterns and cycles. Knowledge of these two things – mapped in a service lifecycle – gives business design the ability to approach a situation with a knowledge base that enables rapid insight and results.
Structure, rigour and speed
Business design is creativity with a business brain. It brings frameworks that enable customer experiences to relate to business considerations, the rigour to validate and prove insights and concepts and it speeds the process by enabling design teams to start from a position of understanding the market, commercial and organisational challenges.
How to get results from customer focus
When business people talk about customer experience they also talk about the organisational challenge it brings. Customer focus is ultimately employed by leadership teams to deliver business results. Business design provides the bridge between the ambition and the delivery of value through customer focus.